Longest recipe name ever.

Crunchy Quinoa, Toasted Almond and Dark Chocolate Brown Butter Granola I howsweeteats.com

But I couldn’t leave one thing out.

See, I’m all about the trendy quinoa because, uh, it’s… trendy. It also is my excuse for calling something with brown butter and chocolate healthy.

I can’t get enough of these honey roasted almonds from Trader Joe’s. I know I mentioned it on Wednesday but I am blowing through bag after bag. Last night my husband stopped at Trader Joe’s on the way home from work without me knowing and when he got home, I completely flipped out because I NEED THOSE ALMONDS. And OMG why didn’t he tell me. Why does he hate me and my almonds.

The brown butter should be totally self explanatory.

And well, the dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and therefore, a health food.

This granola probably has magic powers or something.

Crunchy Quinoa, Toasted Almond and Dark Chocolate Brown Butter Granola I howsweeteats.com

I have been on a granola kick lately and I’m pretty sure it began a few weeks ago when I woke up and wanted granola for breakfast. But was out. I craved it for the next few days, but was way too lazy to pick it up at the store. Which speaks volumes of my laziness considering I’m at the grocery store nearly twice every day because I make lists, leave lists at home and just ignore lists.

Seriously. I actually am embarrassed to see the grocery store employees these days because they have to think I am clinically insane.

Then again, they may not be all wrong.

I also am representing my generation very well.

Crunchy Quinoa, Toasted Almond and Dark Chocolate Brown Butter Granola I howsweeteats.com

Whatever. Granola.

I get asked all the time about my granola clumps. Here’s how I do it: I toss the granola a few times during the cooking process, as noted below. I remove it and let it sit for a few minutes until it’s slightly cooled, then I actually “scrunch” some together with my hands quickly and gently since it’s still sort of hot. I may fold in some chocolate at that point because… what the heck is granola with chocolate?

It’s nothing. That’s what it is.

Crunchy Quinoa, Toasted Almond and Dark Chocolate Brown Butter Granola I howsweeteats.com

The hardest part is waiting for it to completely cool. I mean – COMPLETELY COOL. I cannot stress this enough. If I am being an impatient brat, I may place the entire baking sheet in the fridge to speed up the process. Because god forbid I actually have to WAIT for something.

Once it’s totally cooled, it’s often a mixture of a few giant clumps, which I break apart, and some loose granola. I love that combination. It’s perfect with a few splashes of milk or swirled into yogurt or eating by a grubby handful out of a ziplock bag at midnight.

No idea how I know about that.

Crunchy Quinoa, Toasted Almond and Dark Chocolate Brown Butter Granola I howsweeteats.com


Crunchy Quinoa, Toasted Almond and Dark Chocolate Brown Butter Granola

Yield: makes about 4 cups

Total Time: 2 hours (includes cooling time)


2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
Add butter to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. Whisk constantly until brown bits appear on the bottom, about 5-6 minutes, then immediately remove from heat and set aside. Stir in honey and vanilla extract.

In a large bowl, combine oats, almonds, quinoa, flaxseed, cinnamon and salt. Stir well to combine. Pour butter/honey over the oat mixture, stirring with a large spoon until the entire thing is equally moistened. I stir and even mix with my hands for about 5 good minutes. Spread evenly on the baking sheet in one layer. Bake for 10 minutes, toss and then bake for 10 minutes more. Toss again, then bake for about 10 more minutes, stirring every 3 minutes or so until the mixture is golden.

Remove and let cool for about 10 minutes. At this time, I gently and quickly squeeze some of the granola together with my hands - I find that this helps it "clump" together. Pour chocolate chips over top and stir in gently. Let cool completely for at least one hour before eating.

[adapted from my coconut butter granola]

Crunchy Quinoa, Toasted Almond and Dark Chocolate Brown Butter Granola I howsweeteats.com

Granola for everyone!

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99 Responses to “Crunchy Quinoa, Toasted Almond and Dark Chocolate Brown Butter Granola.”

  1. #
    Reen — April 20, 2013 @ 9:54 pm

    Jessica, love your blog, the recipes, pictures & instructions. But what I think I love the most is your humor! OMG! You make me bust out laughing with your comments! It’s like chatting with a funny friend. I really look forward to your emails cause I know I’ll have a good chuckle. There’s a few bloggers out there you just feel like you could be great friends with and you are one of them…I so appreciate & get your sense of humor…k…I may be sounding kind weird so I’ll just stop and say….thanks for the great recipes and especially for making me laugh!


  2. #
    Heidi @foodiecrush — April 21, 2013 @ 11:07 am

    THe chocolate chunks will totally overshadow the healthy goodness for my daughter, a sneak attach of good stuff. Grand.


  3. #
    Pam Jones — April 21, 2013 @ 11:15 am

    I can’t wait to try, but you have to tell us where did you find those fabulous bowls?


  4. #
    Nutmeg Nanny — April 21, 2013 @ 11:46 am

    This looks fabulous! I can’t wait to make this for myself and my husband :)


  5. #
    Denise — April 21, 2013 @ 1:25 pm

    Just wanted to let you know I used your contact link and it won’t let me send anything to you. I had a question about another recipe but it says there’s a problem.


  6. #
    Melissa @ Treats With a Twist — April 21, 2013 @ 5:31 pm

    Ok so I made some crunchy quinoa granola awhile ago (here it is: http://www.treatswithatwist.com/2013/01/quinoa-pumpkin-seed-granola.html ) and it turned out SO good! It was like “healthy” candy! And was SO amazing with some regular granola mixed in (my mom still asks me to send her some). Anyways, so I know your obsession, and how crave-worthy it is. Pretty sure the store employees always think I’m nuts! :)


  7. #
    Molly @Bakelette — April 21, 2013 @ 10:32 pm

    It may be a long recipe name, but sure is informative and mouth-watering!


  8. #
    Holly — April 22, 2013 @ 1:10 am

    This looks amazeballs.

    And I LOVE your blog. Thank you for making me laugh!


  9. #
    Not Only Sugar — April 22, 2013 @ 4:58 am

    I love this muslei..

    Not Only Sugar


  10. #
    Affordable Cooking Services — April 22, 2013 @ 5:36 am

    Not sure about how would be the taste but one thing is sure that it is too nutrient and healthy to eat because of its ingredients, very well express recipe and images. Thanks for putting lots of efforts to make such a wonderful blog.


  11. #
    Michelle — April 22, 2013 @ 3:14 pm

    I was always a little hesitant to try quinoa, but I am addicted to your breakfast quinoa made with coconut milk (don’t recall the official name). And I have never made granola myself, so today’s post was just the motivation I need to whip some up. I actually have all of the ingredients!
    Love your blog!


  12. #
    Melanie — April 22, 2013 @ 8:23 pm

    I made this over the weekend and can’t stop grabbing a handful every time I walk by it. Tonight I had it with some strawberries, fresh whipped cream and granola. Soooo good and I could say it was a healthy dessert.


  13. #
    Bernadette @ Now Stir It Up — April 22, 2013 @ 10:40 pm

    I love the addition of quinoa in this. Some added protein to make the chocolate and honey roasted nuts fill me up longer. :-)


  14. #
    Holly — April 23, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

    This granola is fantastic! I can’t stop eating it. I used regular slivered almonds (although I’m totally looking for the honey roasted), red quinoa and chopped some chocolate from my Trader Joe’s pound plus dark chocolate block. Love it! Thanks for the recipe!


  15. #
    Kristyn — April 25, 2013 @ 4:52 am

    Can I sub the flax for something else? I hate hate hate flax. Perhaps chia instead? Any fantastic suggestions?



  16. #
    Jen — April 25, 2013 @ 7:57 pm

    I made this tonight and I am beyond impatient. I had to sample some before it cooled completely. I just couldn’t wait any longer. YUM!!!!!!!! :)


  17. #
    Fleshlight Store — April 28, 2013 @ 11:42 pm

    Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your
    articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and everything.
    However think about if you added some great images or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”!

    Your content is excellent but with images and
    videos, this website could definitely be one of the best in its niche.

    Awesome blog!


  18. #
    Liz {What Dress Code?} — April 29, 2013 @ 2:16 pm

    This looks absolutely incredibleeeee, definitely giving it a go, perfect pretend-healthy breakfast snack, though I can guarantee I’ll end up eating most of it in one day!

    xo, Liz


  19. #
    Allison @ thebakingyear — May 14, 2013 @ 8:34 am

    oh boy. I have a soft spot for granola. and dark chocolate. wow. guess I’ll be trying these out soon :)


  20. #
    Kristen — May 24, 2013 @ 11:39 am

    Love this recipe! Somehow stumbled on it yesterday and happened to have most of the ingredients handy… Couldn’t resist baking it immediately! I used red quinoa, whole flax seeds, and Ghirardelli bittersweet baking chocolate (60% cacao) cut in small squares. And the granola clumped up nicely! Thanks for sharing.


  21. #
    Electronic Cigarette Forum — June 1, 2013 @ 3:21 pm

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  22. #
    Erica — June 16, 2013 @ 9:03 am

    I think the cook time may be a little less than what it should be. I did the 30 minutes of baking and my granola never got crunchy, but only realized this after I had added the chocolate chips and couldn’t pop it back in the oven.

    A very health filled granola though!


  23. #
    pamela — June 19, 2013 @ 9:31 am

    LOVE your quinoa granola!
    Brown butter and the cooked quinoa add SO much to the standard!
    I have also made it with chopped apricots and dried cherries instead of chocolate and part maple syrup when I didn’t have enough honey.
    Since I had a giant bag of whole almonds, I chopped I one cup of them, stirred them into 3 Tbl hot honey in a skillet, roasted them in a shallow buttered pan at 325 for 15 min. Cooled only partially , then sprinkled them with kosher salt and cane sugar (about 1/2 tsp and 2 tsp respectively), tossed them every few minutes as they cooled. They were great! I hope you will try this! It could save you a trip to TJ’s! ;)


  24. #
    Alyaa — July 7, 2013 @ 9:00 pm

    Hi, I was wondering, for the 1 cup of cooked quinoa, is it 1 US cup or the normal 1 cup used to cook rice?


  25. #
    Holly — July 13, 2013 @ 6:33 pm

    I haven’t found those almonds at TJ’s yet, but I’ll be on the lookout. If you haven’t already, you MUST try their sesame honey cashews. SO good.


  26. #
    Stephanie — July 17, 2013 @ 11:21 pm

    I just made this the other night, and it was delicious! Thanks for the recipe!


  27. #
    Mackenzie — July 24, 2013 @ 10:01 pm

    Made this but subbed 1 tablespoon coconut oil and 3 tablespoons almond butter for the brown butter and threw in some unsweetened coconut flakes – worked beautifully, it’s delicious!


  28. #
    Karikkast2 — August 28, 2013 @ 2:17 pm

    I’m making this for the second time in a week. I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT GET ENOUGH.


  29. #
    Christi — September 8, 2013 @ 11:23 pm

    I am allergic to oats, would you have any suggestions for replacements?


  30. #
    Tara — December 4, 2013 @ 7:28 am

    Any way to make actual granola bars using this recipe? Sounds delicious but I’m looking for instructions for an actual bar for my kids!


  31. #
    Gabi — January 14, 2014 @ 9:05 pm

    Just made this granola and it is delicious! it’s cooling no but really, how could I not eat it? I used coconut oil instead of butter, and also added some coconut. LOVE<3


  32. #
    Sharon — January 16, 2014 @ 3:24 am

    This granola looks delicious! Love the dark chocolate component.


  33. #
    Lauren — January 29, 2014 @ 7:26 pm

    Yum ok I’m making it now I subbed the brown butter because we are out of butter and I used it all up by making a brown butter whole wheat chocolate chip cookies. So I used 2 T Natural Banana Peanut butter an 2 T melted coconut oil. I did not completely have 1 cup cooked quinoa so I threw in some uncooked quinoa. No flaxseeds either but I added butter crunch cashews and a mix of almonds, peanuts, and hazelnuts inside a trail mix then used the dark chocolate form the trail mix and a third of a bag of semi sweet chocolate chips. It’s cooling now and I’m excited to try it and have it with some Greek yogurt tomorrow for breakfast.


  34. #
    Marcella — January 30, 2014 @ 1:50 am

    ummm… can we be best friends? Pretty sure this recipe contains all of my absolute favorite things. I’ve been looking for a great granola recipe for a while but there is one problem — my sister is allergic to oats. How do you think these would hold up without them?


  35. #
    Sara @ Confectionary Tales — May 19, 2014 @ 4:08 pm

    Question for you, and I don’t know if you’ll remember. When using cooked quinoa, which is soft, did it crunch up in the oven enough or was it still chewy?


  36. #
    Jade — September 4, 2014 @ 3:25 am

    I just made this granola minus the chocolate and flaxseeds and it was amazing! Yum it is so healthy and filling.


  37. #
    k lo — January 19, 2015 @ 6:33 pm

    Um, am I the only one that had a disaster occur? When I put imitation vanilla extract into the brown butter, it exploded all over my kitchen and burned me!!! Maybe a warning to use the real thing, or strict instructions to putthe honey in first would have helped? Smells delicious though….


  38. #
    BeckySue Becker — February 22, 2015 @ 12:01 pm

    FANTASTIC! I made this once without reading through and added the chocolate chips early – and I over toasted the almonds, whoops! It would not bake/crumble out, so I had to try again and follow the directions! It is awesome… this recipe is a keeper! Would love to figure out how to adapt it into a granola bar but I know that would mean more sugar/binder.


  39. #
    Alyssa — September 16, 2015 @ 9:43 am

    Oh this looks divine. I’ll have to try it. Target stopped carrying my favorite dark chocolate almond granola and I’m hurting!

    Alyssa | Glitter and Grey



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